Harvy Abdurachman, Adhe Arrio, Rizky “Kimo” Ramadhan, John Paul “Choki” Patton and Hadistian “Iyas” Yasin have a passion for making music and they later established Double Deer Music September last year. Where everything seems to be on the verge of becoming digitized, Double Deer is here to replenish what’s already been there, introduce something new to the Indonesian music scene, and emphasize that anyone could make music.
We talked a bit about Double Deer Music, digital music production, and some opinions with two of the founders, Harvey (H) and Choki (C).
Tell us a bit about Double Deer Music and what you guys do
H: Basically it’s five friends that have the same vision in making music. For Double Deer’s scope, there is the Ableton course, audio music production, jingle making, scoring, and event managing. We’re also planning on making a record label.
Any priority activities?
H: We don’t make anything as a secondary priority but the Ableton course may be on the surface as we have a vision to teach people that being a producer is actually not that difficult. It’s as simple as having a laptop and you can be a producer.
Where did the name come from?
C: Lots of people ask why we chose Deer. It was supposed to be a trend, something with deer, but I actually didn’t know about that trend. Back in 2010 I was making a logo not knowing what it was for at the moment. The idea of Deer popped up as the thoughts of behind the midst of everyone saying the lion is the king of the jungle, while deer are smarter, wiser, and more unique. Double Deer Music is head of two divisions, audio production and the audio production courses, hence the word Double.
Why does Double Deer Music choose to teach Ableton specifically in the courses?
H: There are actually a lot of software out there as if choosing a cell phone, but Ableton’s best features include that it’s the most user friendly and it’s practical. It suits anyone be it beginners, advanced or professional. It’s also a whole package; you could use it for DJ-ing, jingle making, and scoring.
So it’s commonly used for live performances nowadays?
C: That is right. They perform live and basically what we hear is what they have worked on, but the difference is the media of performance, in this case using Ableton.
H: There are a lot of people who use Ableton nowadays. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s practical and user friendly. Musicians such as Justice and Daft Punk, they need to synchronize digital and analog with Ableton. Bands such as Caribou combine live instruments, analog, and digital also with Ableton.
What do you think about the music production knowledge in Indonesia?
C: So basically what I’ve always known is that the conventional way is still mostly used in Indonesia like recording drums, guitar, bass and any other real music instruments in general, but we haven’t seen much in the digital music production. That’s why we put our emphasis on the digital aspect of music production.
It is the time where most things are becoming digitized. For instance, the more advanced the software, it would be easier for people to make music and they would eventually not try to learn more about the real musical instruments itself, any thoughts on that statement?
H: Well actually, don’t put that easiness in producing music together with the thought of not being able to play music instruments. It’s two different statements because for example, I can’t play the guitar nor do I know about chords, but I do know about the structures of music, rhythms, and melodies with the help of the program (Ableton in this case). So it’s not a matter of “Because I can operate Ableton, I don’t need to learn how to play the guitar and keyboard”. It’s nothing like that.
C: Ableton is somewhat a shortcut to study music. It’s not that people who can’t play musical instruments don’t know about music or doesn’t have a good musicality. They could even a strong sense of music but they just haven’t learned those instruments. They can eventually produce, compose, and arrange music without playing the instruments.
What about the people who are familiar with music and know how to play the instruments?
H: It’s actually a way for them to explore even more.
C: It also goes down to every single person, if they chose to venture on digitization, they could choose what they want to make. So it can be explored, not just for live recording.
Any expectations on the music scene in Jakarta? In general and in the digital music production scope
C: I guess it has to be; progress.
H: Do you remember a while back there’s this tease-phrase; “Everybody wants to be a DJ”? Well now in Jakarta I would like to say “Everybody wants to be a music producer”. A year from now, you’ll see.
Does it have to do with that easiness?
H: Of course. For instance, kids are now asking me to teach them how to be a DJ, and I say “Why don’t I teach you how to be a producer?” It’s much cooler! Don’t go playing other people’s songs, it’s better to produce your own songs and let other people play it. From the eyes of a DJ, the feeling of playing other people’s songs and other people playing your songs is totally different. If you play other people’s songs, well that’s that, but when someone else plays your songs, be it played by a DJ somewhere, it’s one of the greatest feelings. That’s why I said I expect people would want to be a producer because people will eventually realize that though producing your own songs is harder, the achievement is bigger.
What do you guys personally enjoy doing in the list of various activities done by Double Deer Music?
H: With all those activities, deadlines, and times of needing professionalism, music is the silver lining. Because we’re passionate in making music, we don’t complain.
C: From way back, everybody here in Double Deer Music has been with music on a daily basis, music was in their environment, and that’s why we made this. We enjoy everything because we deal with music on a daily basis and anything else is a matter of taste. Besides, it’s fun to discover new things and knowledge.
H: After running Double Deer Music, I did realize that music is limitless.
Lastly, what’s next for Double Deer Music?
C: We want to expand our courses and make a digital record label.
Any thoughts on Movie Scoring?
H: We haven’t done any movie scoring but we did work on scoring soap operas. You know how they’re like, but the fact is it’s what the client and millions of viewers want. Eventually, we still put in that quality. So even though they want something super cheesy, we do it super cheesy…. but it’s mozzarella. *laughs*
Interview by Annisa Indrasari